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Helping Families Work & Play

By Deanna McGill | Photography by Sarah Oden | Shot on location at Methodist Family Health

   The beauty of Arkansas is a treasure for all natives. This truth is not lost on Jan Green who explores it on foot as well as from the sky as an accomplished licensed pilot. “My most prized possession is parked in my airplane hangar,” Jan refers lovingly to her Beechcraft Bonanza plane. Last summer Jan flew in the timed Airventure Cup Race from Mt. Vernon, Illinois, to Wassau, Wisconsin. “I won the race in my class; I came in first as a woman flying against all commercial airline men pilots,” Jan cheerfully boasts.

   Jan’s zeal for feminine liberties is not only evident in her flying, but also in her care and concern for fellow Arkansans.  Jan explains, “I believe in the therapeutic value of one woman helping another woman. I see it in the women at the Arkansas CARES program as they break the cycle of substance abuse for their families. Seeing the courage in those women to do the thing that scares you to death is inspiring.”

   For more than 120 years, Methodist Family Health has helped rebuild the lives of children and families who are abused, neglected and struggling with psychiatric, behavioral, emotional and spiritual distress. The Arkansas Center for Addictions Research, Education & Services (CARES) offered by Methodist Family Health is a three-month treatment program for expecting women and mothers that provides a family-centered approach to decrease maternal substance abuse and promote healthy families. In addition to research and education, the program advocates for prevention and effective treatment of substance abuse as well as mental illness – with the objective of keeping the family together throughout the process. Providing childcare, counseling for parents and job-preparedness training – Arkansas CARES specializes in guiding families through recovery to a full life. The consistent care and support offered breaks the cycle of poverty and addiction for all family members – so future generations can live healthier.

   Jan does not simply look at these families from a bird’s eye view. Her pragmatic approach to leadership as chairman of the Methodist Family Health Foundation Board of Directors makes her an invaluable resource to the organization. “Jan runs our meetings like a CEO,” states Methodist Family Health Foundation Executive Director Carolyn McCone. “She has served with us for so many years, and in that time, she’s accomplished so many things for our clients that she is now able to envision our immediate and long-range needs. That kind of ability and willingness to work on the front lines with us makes Jan’s leadership crucial to our growth and success.”

   The organization’s signature event Southern Silks will be later this year in September to garner support for a new playground for the Arkansas CARES families. “Some of the kids in the program are stuck in a cycle of not knowing how to play. Their parents don’t know how and so they cannot play together – it’s a lost skill that is fundamental to a child’s development since it’s been said play is the work of childhood,” Jan explains. “The playground is a vital part of therapy,” adds Arkansas CARES Director Kate Hardage. “They get to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine, run to their hearts’ content, be loud, discover things and be free from troubles – if only for a bit.” A bright, safe playground is just the kind of workplace the Arkansas CARES children need and visionaries like Jan, and many Methodist Family Health patrons, will make it a reality.

Inviting Arkansas

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